Oh yeah, I volunteered for it. I didn’t volunteer, I set up my laptop right next to my desktop and loaded the ticket site for Dark Lord Day on both at approximately 11:45am Central Daylight Time. I frantically hit refresh on both as the minutes approached: 11:56, refresh; 11:57, refresh; 11:59, refresh. 12:00, here we go!
The Facebook brigade was in full force today. First, Three Floyd’s didn’t post the ticket sales link in their status until 11:57am. Honestly, if you were on Facebook waiting for that to appear you were not going to secure tickets. The bevy of comments that ensued spanned from, “I got mine” to “FTS!” But this is what Three Floyd’s does, this is what it has been doing as of late.
At 12:49pm the Facebook status indicated tickets finally sold out. Of course, after I secured a pair on the laptop I tried for a pair on the desktop and not a single group had a ticket available. This was at 12:03pm. Server problems? Sure. However, if you didn’t time that refresh just right, you were screwed.
The ticket sales medium that Three Floyd’s has chosen does have issues, but I can’t think of a fairer process, especially now that they are trying to affix the purchaser’s name to the ticket and will be checking identifications at the door. But the major flaw in this year’s ticket sales was the missing Group A.
Upon entering the screen to buy tickets, any chance at selecting Group A was gone. I know there are people who bought these tickets online, but the option was never presented to me. I really didn’t think of it at the time because the brewery does a very good job treating their ownership and VIPs so I just assumed that these tickets were reserved for them.
The ticket distribution system is set up like you’re going to see a concert. I complain a lot about Three Floyd’s, but in this regard there is no suitable alternative. If you insulate yourself and just sell tickets to the local patrons you isolate your brand and it might not have become the global phenomenon that it is. But if you open the availability to the masses, the surest way is selling the tickets like any band performing in concert. Here’s your chance, good luck! So you’ve been to 9 DLDs in a row but now your screwed. Get over yourself. Heaven forbid you share in your good fortune for nine years and let someone else try a beer that is one of the best in the country.
The one downfall is admittance onto the grounds. Although I was lucky to get Group B tickets, I know I will be resting on the pavement in the early A.M. that morning because getting into the brewpub is half the battle. All ticket holders are welcome at 10am, regardless of group. Last year I had Group A and by the time we made it into the festivities and in line to purchase the beer, we had a half hour left in our buying window. So this year, more of the same.
I am a seasoned veteran by now and am prepared for all Dark Lord Day entails. My friends secured their tickets with little hassle as well so it should make for a good post in the future. I promise I’ll try to be more positive this time around.
If you are reading this, please leave a comment. I want to know the most outrageous thing you’ve done for a beer (could be dollars spent, distance traveled, etc.). You must leave a comment with your full first and last name with a valid email address. The week before DLD (April 21st) I will consult with IndianaBeer staff and we will pick a winner. The winner will receive their choice of Baller Stout, 2012 Dark Lord, or 2013 Dark Lord. I know they might not be the rarest beers, but they are the ones I have at my disposal.